The NY Times’ Peter Baker posted a piece yesterday in which he struggles to suggests the current Republican concern over lapses in security at the White House is politically motivated.
Although the target of the legislative
scrutiny is the Secret Service,
not the president, the furor over security has left the White House on
the defensive. At Tuesday’s Capitol Hill hearing and at the daily White
House news briefing, the questions fueled an air of scandal: Who knew
what when, and was there a cover-up?
And a bit later in the story we learn exactly who is complaining about the current scandal becoming a scandal:
Privately, some Democratic officeholders and strategists have complained
that the episode contributes to a broader impression that the Obama
administration’s competence has come under fire on a variety of fronts,
including last year’s botched rollout of Mr. Obama’s health care
program, the breakdown of services at the Veterans Affairs Department
and the handling of a series of international crises.
Those private complaints by Democrats somehow wound up in a story at the NY Times. Amazing how that works.
Look over that list of complaints about the administration’s competence once again–the Obamacare rollout, the VA scandal, international crises (plural). Which one of those is an illegitimate complaint exactly? And of course the answer is that all of those were completely legitimate issues which also happened to hurt Democrats.
The current complaints about the Secret Service are also entirely legitimate. That’s what really bothers Democrats about this. Four weeks prior to an important election, Republicans have found another, completely legitimate, issue they can hammer Democrats with. Is that partly political? Of course it is, this is Washington D.C. But GOP criticism of the Secret Service foul ups is the best kind of politics, the kind where self-interest and public interest align perfectly. No one wants this President, or any President, getting hurt.